Thursday, August 9, 2012

They Were Cones!

Savannah got her permit when we first moved to Florida last summer.  She’s been driving regularly since then.  Other than the time she took out the neighbor’s mailbox (the thing flew across the yard !) she’s done a great job.  She even drove a large part of the way on our trip to Illinois and back this summer.  She has been counting down the days until she can get her license. 

Well, the day came and went because we didn’t realize that she needed an appointment to take the driving test, and that not all facilities offered the test.  Savannah went online and grabbed the first available appointment she could find.  Unfortunately, it was at a facility that was far, far, far, far away.  The day came and I drove her there.  She showed them the paperwork, they took her picture, then sent us outside to wait for someone to administer the test. 

It started raining while we were waiting because it’s Florida, it’s July, and it’s afternoon, and that is what it does in Florida in July in the afternoon.  As the clouds rolled in, I reminded Savannah, “Make sure you turn on the lights.  And increase your following distance.”  However, I warned her about the wrong things; I should’ve reminded her not to hit anything instead.

Savannah drove off with the tester.  When she pulled back into the parking lot, she was not smiling.  Uh-oh, I thought, that doesn’t look like a good sign.  As the tester walked back inside, Savannah stomped over to me and growled, “I didn’t get it.”

“I kinda figured.  What happened?”

I didn’t use my turn signals for the three- point-turn.  Do you use signals for a three-point-turn, Mom?”

“No, I don’t, but I never do a three-point-turn in traffic.  If I make a turn like that, I make sure there are no other cars around at all so I have no one to warn with signals,” I admitted.  “You can’t get your license just because of that?” I asked, a little surprised.

“No,” Savannah grumbled.  “I hit a cone when I pulled out of the parking space.”

“Oh,” I said sadly.  I felt bad because I know she would’ve done just fine if she was driving something smaller than “the church van”.  I tried to lighten the mood.  “Did you tell her – they were cones?”  (This is a line from the movie The Wedding Singer when Adam Sandler teased the limo driver of hitting potential wedding guests to which the driver replied, “They were cones!”  For some reason, the line cracked us up when we saw the movie and stuck with us.) 

I could tell Savannah was really upset when she didn’t laugh at that, so I told her it wasn’t a big deal and she’d get it on her next try.

So Savannah made another appointment at a different location for Wednesday. We went. We waited. We were told their entire computer system was down. We waited some more. We contemplated harming the little kid who kept smacking into our seats. We waited some more. We contemplated hurting the little kid’s mother who just looked on, oblivious as to how annoying her kid was. We waited some more. Another kid started screaming. Savannah and I looked at each other and made a hasty retreat.

Yesterday, we were told that she didn’t actually need an appointment and could return any time to take the test. So we returned yet again today. We walked in, approached the desk, and were promptly told they didn’t have time for walk-ins today because they were backed up due to their system being down yesterday. Seeing my eyes glaze over, Savannah grabbed my hand and led me outside before I jumped over the desk and strangled the man who so nonchalantly dished out bad news.

I’ve given up. She doesn’t really need a license anyway. We only have the one car and I need it for work. She can get a job and save up for a car. Of course, she needs a car to get to her job. This single mom thing is hard.

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